This Is How To Install A Shower Pan In A Mobile Home

When you take a shower, all the water is collected in a shower pan. These pans differ slightly depending on which brand you are dealing with, and you can even make your own, but basically, the installation process is exactly the same.

A close up of a toilet and shower of the bathroom in a mobile home

They are usually either acrylic or fibreglass. Most mobile home showers usually have a fibreglass base. In this article, you will learn how to install one with the right tools and in simple steps. Ready? Let’s go! 

Tools you need

  • Flathead screwdrivers
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Power drill
  • Drill bits
  • Plumbers putty
  • Drywall screws (4 cm)
  • Hammer
  • Framing square
  • Wooden shims
  • Caulking gun
  • Flange
  • Silicone bath caulk
  • Adjustable pliers (if needed)
  • New shower pan
  • PVC adapter
  • Washers
  • Masking tape

How to install a shower pan in a mobile home step-by-step

Have you gathered your tools and materials? Okay! Let’s take a look at the steps:

Step 1: Measure the area where you’ll be installing the new shower pan

Your old shower wall, faucet area, and shower enclosures should all be measured, so make a list of these measurements and bring them with you when you go shopping for the pan. These measurements will help your home centre professional assist you in selecting the right shape and size. 

A shower pan in bathroom

Standard sizes are usually 90 cm x 90 cm, 90 cm x 105 cm and 90 cm x 120 cm, with white or almond as the most common colours. These sizes and colours are likely to be in stock at most retailers. Larger sizes, as well as “decorator” styles and colours, will almost certainly require special ordering.

Step 2: Prepare the installation area

Remove the showerhead and clean the surface of all debris and loose particles with a broom or a vacuum. Remove old caulking and adhesive with a wide-bladed putty knife or a paint scraping tool.

Apply any further surface preparations as indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions. This may well include a fresh layer of a water seal product to the surface where the pan will be fitted. Also, make sure to follow the drying time as indicated on the container. 

Step 3: Completely dry the surface

Before placing the pan, make sure the surface area is entirely dry and clear of standing water or excessive moisture.

Mould and mildew thrive on moist surfaces. Moisture can also impair the adherence of caulk, resulting in a faulty project, so install the pan only after the water seal has dried.

Step 4: Prepare the pan by dry-fitting it

After you’ve prepared the shower base area, you’ll need to “dry-fit” your pan into the new space. You won’t use any adhesives or fasteners at this stage because you’re only checking to see if everything fits. Make sure the pan fits snugly but not too tightly in the space. Otherwise, it may buckle. 

You’re more likely to have movement concerns if the fit is excessively sloppy, which can cause seams to separate and major water seepage. If the fit is too loose, the pan will need to be stabilised further.

Also, check to see if the drain lines up with the drain pipe and fits well. It’s never a good idea to push it to line up, as this can damage the pan and the drain pipe altogether. 

A small amount of pipe movement (approximately 1.5 cm in each direction) is acceptable and will aid in the alignment of the shower drain components. Because drain components differ by brand, test fitting should be done with care instructions in mind.

Step 5: Fit the pan now in place

Replace the pan once the dry-fitting process is complete. Make sure that the drain line is properly aligned and then you can attach it.

You can attach a short coupling piece to the bottom of the drain, and then insert it into the drainpipe on the shower floor and seal it with a compression gasket

You may also require a coupling extension to be pre-installed in the drainpipe of the floor, after which the pan can be slid over the coupler and sealed with caulking and a rubber compression ring. 

Step 6: Make sure the pan is level

Use a carpenter’s level and wood shims to level the pan while it’s in place, correcting with shims as needed. Avoid shimming the pan so high that it gets raised or “floats” over the solid foundation.

A man using a spirit level to make sure the tray is 100% level

If the sub-surface seems to be level, only minor shimming will then be required. Mark the top of the pan lip where it meets the wall studs and wall panels if the pan has to be moved once it’s level.

Step 7: Connect the studs to the pan

Avoid driving nails or screws through the pan’s lip. You can temporarily secure the pan to the studs by threading a 3.5 cm or 5 cm screw through a washer and inserting the screw just above the pan’s lip, ensuring that the washer overlaps the lip.

Overtightening might cause the shower pan to crack. Use your carpenter’s level to double-check that your fixing didn’t cause the pan to sag. Now is the time to make all of the components water-tight once the pan is level, steady, and securely fixed in place.

Step 8: Seal the pan using silicone bath caulk 

To make a waterproof seal, fill all spots where the pan has been penetrated, such as drilled or manufactured holes, with the sealant.

Seal around the studs where the pan comes into touch with them to help secure the pan in place. Add a thin application of caulk to each point, roughly the thickness of a strip of masking tape.

Use just enough to coat and seal the nail or screw holes in the studs where the pan is attached. Wipe up any accidental leaks on the pan before the caulk dries. You can basically pull them off with your fingernail or a plastic putty knife if you spot them once they dry.

Don’t let any caulk go over the lip of the pan while you’re working since this will impair the fit and seal of the side shower panels. If it drips while you’re applying it, wipe it off straight away. You’ll also need to caulk the pan’s junction with the floor. If the surface isn’t completely clean and dry, you won’t get a good seal.

Step 9: Allow the caulk to dry before inspecting your seals

Recheck all drain components and subfloors and seal them with caulk. Always use a blunt instrument to force any compression seals around the drain components into place.

Never use a screwdriver or other sharp object to open the seal, as this will permanently harm it.

Shower pan maintenance tips

Follow these cleaning tips to help maintain your shower pan in excellent condition:

1. Do regular cleanings

Use household bleach to clean the pan, and apply it to the outside areas of the drain and down to the parts that are linked to the drain using a sponge.

A woman wearing gloves is cleaning her shower glass

Make sure the drain is clear of debris and hair beforehand. You can use a toothbrush to clean the shower pan‘s nooks and corners. They should never be cleaned with wire scrubbers. Brushes with gentle bristles should be used. If your pan is made of acrylic or fibreglass, clean it with a moderate solution of liquid dish detergent. 

Avoid using acidic bleaches or cleaners that include acids. Use cleaners designed for natural stones and marbles, which should all be available at your local home improvement store. Any other cleaning product will simply eat into the material and cause holes and potentially damage it.

2. Disinfect from time to time

Apply a mixture of white vinegar and water to the shower pan using a brush. Allow the pan to sit undisturbed for an hour before rinsing it well with warm water. Then, dry it with a cloth. You can also add a second coat of vinegar before you wash off.

3. Check for any signs of stains

You can remove the stains with a thick paste of baking soda and water. Allow the paste to sit on the stained area for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a toothbrush.

Rinse the pan completely with water and dry it with a towel. Additionally, you can apply auto wax to the pan. It functions as an effective sealant, preventing stains from forming on the surface.

4. Keep an eye on any potential cracks

Check for cracks in your shower pan on a regular basis. They can potentially cause water leakage onto the bathroom floor. If the pan has a scrape or a minor crack, you can repair it at home by sealing the crack with a DIY silicone-based sealant.

If the base of the pan has a deep crack, this is when a repair professional has to step in before the crack causes serious water seepage.

5. Mould removal

You can effectively remove mould by applying a spoonful of baking soda mixed with two capfuls of vinegar to the shower pan. Allow the paste to sit in the pan for a few minutes before washing it clean with hot water. 

A shower pan

Shower pans! Now, it is time to get rid of the old one and enjoy your new one. As a general rule of thumb, clean yours after each use and do a deep clean every month or so. This guide has all the steps that you’re going to need to install yours in your mobile home in no time! Have a nice shower!

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